St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

This Gothic Revival church was built at a cost of $5,500 from 1867 to 1868, five years after the parish was organized. The first service was held in the church on August 9, 1868, although it was not consecrated until June 1870. The rectory, which stands to the south of the church, was built as a private residence in 1867. It was purchased by the church in 1891 for $3,500. A number of fine stained-glass windows adorning the church have been donated by the congregation.

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The church was enlarged during 1873-1874, with the expansion of one end of the building by 24 feet and the addition of two short wings, equal in height to the main section of the church. It is the oldest Episcopal house of worship extant in Nevada. The building displays characteristics very similar to many New England churches.

In the sanctuary, an unusual half-domed ceiling is supported by Corinthian columns, possibly reflecting a Masonic perspective present in the early congregations.

Also, there is no central aisle through the pews to the alter, but instead, two side aisles partitioning the pews into three columns across the interior of the church. This layout, lacking a central focus from the door of the sanctuary to the altar, is reminiscent of New England Protestant church interiors, which tend to emphasize not only the central placement of the altar and other objects, but parishioners as well. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church may be the only Episcopal church west of the Mississippi with no center aisle.

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